Putting Education Reform To The Test

Parents Requested School Not Acknowledge Trayvon Martin’s Death, School District Says

Mario Tama / Getty News Images

Marchers gathered in New York City to protest the investigation of Trayvon Martin's death. Marchers in the "Million Hoodie March" wore sweatshirts similar to one Martin was wearing at the time of his death.

This morning, the chief communications director for the Miami-Dade County school district, John Schuster said there is a reason the school did not announce Martin’s death on campus.

“Shortly after Trayvon’s death, his parents asked the school’s principal for privacy in the matter,” Schuster said.

“So counselors couldn’t do what they normally do. They couldn’t move from room to room and tell students who had passed away.”

But the school did make an announcement yesterday anyway, after StateImpact Florida started asking around.

Schuster says there’s a reason for that too.

“Now we have a lot of students who are expressing anger, frustration, and they really need to talk to a counselor,” Schuster said. “So its grown beyond those initial wishes of the parents and we’re addressing a new set of issues that students are expressing to us.”

Schuster says students and staff have always had access to one of the school counselor’s if they asked to speak with one.

“As new information has become available regarding the student’s death, counselors continue to be available to address students’ grief, frustration, and anger about the death of their fellow student.”

We’ve updated both of yesterday’s stories to include the new information.


  • Heather Harrison

    The one positive thing that I see from this is the way young people have joined together to see Zimmermann brought to justice. So much of the articles that we read about teens are so negative and I’ve been so impressed with how young people have formed an alliance to get officials to hear their story. It’s refreshing to see them working so hard to be agents of change. 

    Check out all my thoughts on “Zimmermann 2012″ at http://www.themommypsychologist.com

  • Kisha

    The school did not make the right call. As an administrator, you have to make the best decision for the students. They should have explained to Martin’s mother that the students would be suffering too and they had to address the needs of the student body. They could have reframed from speaking to the public, but they should not have left the students without an outlet in school to express their feelings.

    Of course the students were frustrated and angry. This is the place they interacted with him. They needed this outlet in order for them to begin the healing process. They should be lucky they didn’t have a full riot on their hands. Teens need to deal with grief because if it is not dealt with then it will manifest in other more destructive ways. This is why the school must be a part of that process.

    I hope they learned for the next time.

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